Shimming, white vans, and employment scams

Shimming, white vans, and employment scams

Today, we’re bringing you three scams from around the country that may also affect you in your area.

The first is what’s called shimming. If you’re the type that wiggles the card slots at gas pumps and ATMs to check for card skimmers, you have a new concern about your credit card. Much like skimming, in shimming the scammers place a device in the card reader that reads the new security chips on credit and debit cards instead of the magnetic strip. If you’re thinking the new chips were supposed to make cards more secure you are correct, however, the scammers were quick to crack the chip. One of the ways you can tell if a card reader you’re using has been shimmed is if the card feels too tight when put into the card reader. If so, cancel the transaction immediately.

The second scam we have today is a scam that predates the internet but is still going on today. It’s called the white van scam and usually involves knock off or stolen electronics. Back in the pre-internet era, this scam would involve someone trying to sell you stereo components at a steep discount but now the scam usually offers discounted ‘high end’ TVs or other modern electronics. The scammers will claim that they work for a legitimate retailer or company and say that they have too much inventory and need to sell these units at a discounted price. As with most scams, they will try to pressure you hard into purchasing one of the items from their vehicle. These scammers tend to target their victims in strip mall parking lots and other locations near ATMs.

Lastly, the secret shopper employment scam has made the news again. While many retailers do employ secret shoppers to review the work retail staff, these jobs aren’t as readily available as the internet may have you think. Recently, a woman from Greensboro, North Carolina, almost fell for this scam. The so-called secret shopper service sent her a check for thousands of dollars and asked her to use the money to buy gift cards at retailers. She was then supposed to send the gift cards back to the secret shopping service and keep some of the money for herself as payment. Of course, there are two red flags that the woman noticed and that was the fact of the scammers asking her to deposit a check and send them gift cards. Both are well-known scams as if she had deposited the phony check and spent the money she would have been responsible for the money owed to her bank. Not only that but the scammers would have received the gift cards and used the fraudulently purchased gift cards as they saw fit.